St Antony Ironworks was the first iron furnace in the Ruhr, founded in 1758 with a 9m-high blast furnace and a foundry. A new furnace was built in 1826 which worked for a few years but the site was closed in 1877. The museum is located in the former office and manager’s house next to the pond that supplied waterpower. The demolished old furnace and foundry have been excavated archaeologically and the remains displayed under a curving roof of galvanized steel that has won architectural prizes.
The displays in the museum use models, artefacts, panels and 3-d animations to explain the technology of smelting iron and the history of industry in the region. A children’s playground has a tower with a slide and climbing walls the size of the original furnace. Nearby is the Eisenheim workers’ settlement built in 1846 by the ironmasters.